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Japan · 2021
2h 2m
Director Mamoru Hosoda
Starring Kaho Nakamura, Ryo Narita, Shota Sometani, Tina Tamashiro
Genre Animation, Drama, Music, Science Fiction

Suzu is a shy girl living in the Japanese countryside. She doesn't have many friends and spends most of her time developing her online persona, "Belle," a renowned singer. When Suzu enters a virtual world called "U," she becomes her online persona and explores this new world.

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What are people saying?

Conner Dejecacion Profile picture for Conner Dejecacion

This anime retelling of beauty and the beast is a cyber-musical epic. Mamoru Hosoda never fails to make me cry, and I don't cry very often when I watch movies. There's something about the earnestness of the way he treats technology as the fulcrum of our relationships with others that makes his films especially powerful. While I think this movie doesn't have the staying power of Summer Wars - I think Belle is just a tinge sappy - it's still a great film that will make you think and feel.

What are critics saying?


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Hosoda is a born maximalist with a big heart, and while his most ambitious moonshot to date isn’t quite able to arrange all of its moving parts together along the same orbit, it’s impressive to see how many of them remain moving all the same.


Time Out by Phil de Semlyen

Mamoru Hosoda’s cyber fairy-tale is basically wall-to-wall bangers, all backdropped by virtual worlds that wash over you in waves of world-building so detailed and epic, they’d make William Gibson’s eyes pop.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Belle is a beautifully observed, dazzlingly animated sci-fi fairy tale about our online-offline double lives – it’s Hosoda’s finest film since 2012’s Wolf Children, and perhaps his best to date.


Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

At first, it appears that Hosoda merely wants to remake Beauty And The Beast, but there are surprises in store that shouldn’t be spoiled. Let it be said, however, that what makes Belle affecting in its later stretches is Hosoda’s subversion of that fairy tale’s narrative — in particular, its notion of true beauty and the reasons why the Beast has grown so withdrawn and distrustful.

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